Book review: 'Caller ID' is an exciting tale of intrigue and romance

By Margot Hovley

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, April 14 2012 3:00 p.m. MDT

"CALLER ID," by Rachelle J. Christensen, Sweetwater Books, $15.99, 258 pages (f)

That tiny line of text on a phone screen sometimes has a whole story to tell.

That's the case in the new romantic suspense novel by Utah author Rachelle J. Christensen. In "Caller ID," Courtney Beckham is a spoiled, rich college girl. Her father gave her everything — a pony, a convertible, even a generous trust fund. But none of that helps her when she stumbles across a patch of marijuana growing near her favorite horse trail in the mountains.

The growers kidnap her and lock her in a mountain cabin. But Courtney is brainy as well as beautiful and rich, and gutsier than she first believed. She manages a look at the cabin phone's caller ID, and what she sees there changes everything.

There's not just one daring escape. Although a handsome FBI agent comes to the rescue, Courtney's no damsel in distress. The tables turn, and soon it's Courtney doing the rescuing.

The cleverly constructed plot twists keep the reader guessing right up to the end, and the caller ID function comes into play more than once or twice. The romance element felt a bit forced, with characters admiring each other's lips and muscle contours while in a fight for their lives, but everything stays PG.

There's plenty of action and suspense to be found, although the romance element keeps this in women's fiction territory. The Utah setting is not just a pretty backdrop but woven into the plot, with the familiar canyons and mountains playing a pivotal role. Courtney is a moral character and there's isn't any offensive language.

This is Christensen's second book with Sweetwater Press, an imprint of Cedar Fort. The first, "Wrong Number," was a Whitney Award finalist and was presented the League of Utah Writers Outstanding Book of the Year award. More information about "Caller ID" can be found at www.calleridbook.com and the author's website, www.rachellechristensen.com.

if you go ...

What: Rachelle J. Christensen book signing

When: Saturday, April 21, noon-2 p.m.

Where: Barnes and Noble, McIntyre Center, 1104 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City

Web: barnesandnoble.com

Also ...

What: "An Afternoon of Local Intrigue," including Rachelle J. Christensen book signing

When: Saturday, April 21, 3 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com

Margot Hovley's first novel will be published by Covenant Communications this year. Find her self-reliance blog at www.mynewoldschool.com or read about her writing adventures at www.margothovley.com.

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